Savvy Hijabi: Deal of the Day

20121127-181005.jpg Scarf from Forever 21

Like most Muslim moms, I love a good bargain. So I decided to start doing mini posts that feature a deal of the day. Today, I wanted to showcase a pretty metallic scarf you can wear as a hijab for under $10 from Forever 21!!! They come in a mint green, gold, or ice blue.

Make sure to pick one up today if you like a little sparkle and a great deal!

How To Know If You Are A Hater

It’s been a while since I wrote a life based post, but I have noticed a very scary trend going on in Instagram and Facebook. There are sisters who may mean well (or not) going out and attacking their sisters in Islam with inappropriate and rude comments.

This disheartens me because in Islam, we are recommended to love each other. In fact, envy and jealousy are hated in Islam. In the Quran, we ask Allah (swt) to protect us from evils including the envy of the envier:

And from the evil of the envious when he envies.” (Surah 113 Ayah 5)

Jealousy and envy are seen as self destructive and were discouraged in Islam.

The Prophet (saws) said:

Beware of jealousy, for verily it destroys good deeds the way fire destroys wood.” (Abu Dawood)

So why is it that there are some sisters turning into haters on social media? Perhaps you may be one and not even know. Here are some clues that you may be a hater:

1) A hater is jealous. A hater will spread lies, gossip and generally focus on the business of others since they don’t have much to focus on in their own lives.

If this sounds like you, get a hobby! Paint, blog, memorize Quran. Focus on your own family iA. Be productive and this bad quality will fall away iA.

2) A hater can not stand hearing anyone else praised. If you have a gut reaction to nay say when another person says something nice about another sister, then you are being a hater.

Say Mashallah and move along! We can’t be the best at everything and surely we must appreciate the good things others have to offer.

If you worry that someone else envies you, remember that the Sunnah recommends that you give this envious person gifts, shake their hands and say salaam (greetings) to them. This may dispel any feelings of hate that the envier has iA.

3) Haters love to gossip. This is another really bad quality that is highly discouraged in Islam. I know it’s hard, but gossip is really terrible. In fact, the Prophet (saws) compares gossiping with eating the dead flesh of your brothers and sisters in Islam. Gossiping is a hater’s way of getting attention from others even if it hurts people in the process.

Stop gossiping! I know I am guilty of this one big time. Luckily, my friends try to follow a no gossip rule so rather than encouraging this, they will change the subject to a neutral topic. Ask your family and friends to do the same. It helps defuse this bad habit.

4) Haters love to compare what they have with others. Even if the other people don’t even know it.

Focus on your own blessings iA. We all have them. Don’t be busy counting the blessings of others.

5) Haters love to see others down. Nothing gives them more joy than seeing other people suffer. This is the complete opposite of how Islam recommends us to be. We are supposed to love for others what we love for ourselves.

If you have read this and see some qualities of yourself in any of these, pray to God to help you because these issues will eat away at you. Ask your friends and family for help. There is always hope, but remember that the change starts with you. I hope this post helps you and remember that I love you all.

Peplum Trend: A Hijabi’s Best Friend

20121124-215159.jpgClockwise from top left: Striped peplum top from Forever 21, Heart pendant from Forever 21, Long black skirt from Sears, Black and white bangle from Swarovski

I hope my American readers had a good holiday with their families inshallah! I know I had loads of fun with my Hubster and chubster.

Since Thanksgiving is over now, I am sure a lot of American hijabis are trying to find ways to hide the post turkey bellies. I know I am!

Luckily, one of the biggest carry over trends from past seasons is the peplum trend. At first, it looks a bit scary. Who really wants EXTRA fabric around the mid section?

But, if you really think about it, wearing a peplum top is a nice way to hide a belly but still look trim since it highlights the waist. It helps elongate the silhouette as well. If you want a polished, elegant, ladylike look, this is the trend for you.

As you can tell from the outfit I styled above, you can actually mix a few trends at once. I mixed the black and white trend with stripes and the peplum trend. Try some of them out next time you want to dress up. Wear the top with a long skirt. With the skirt above, you will need to wear black leggings. I would pair this with black wedge shoes to funk it up but you can use any pair of your favorite black shoes. Finish with a bright hijab if you are bold, or go safe with a black or white hijab.

Target’s Neiman Marcus Holiday Collection = Accessible Designer Accessories!

20121121-130756.jpg Clockwise from top left: Clutches by Judith Leiber, bags by Marc Jacobs, Tote by Oscar de la Renta, and Lunchbag by Tory Burch

This winter season is bringing lots of goodies for hijabi fashionistas! Target is doing a Holiday collection with Neiman Marcus to bring accessible items designed by high end designers such as Tory Burch, DVF, Marchesa and others.

I picked my favorite accessories from the entire collection. You can never go wrong with accessories. It is a quick and easy way to make a whole outfit look fresh without having to buy new clothes altogether.

With this collection, you can actually splurge on a designer piece without feeling guilty. I plan to use my savings to donate to charities.

Since I promised myself to start packing my lunch for work, I think the Tory Burch bag will help give me the little push I needed to start doing it!

These and other pieces will be available starting Dec 1, so make sure to hit up your local Target before they are all gone! What is your favorite piece?

Easiest Mashed Potatoes Recipe

While I typically do my own recipes, I had to share this absolutely delicious mashed potato recipe that was written by Sarah, a fellow blogger who writes for the blog East 9th Street. Since Thanksgiving is coming up, you probably will be Googling for the tastiest, easiest mashed pototoes recipe. I mean Thanksgiving is about turkey yes, but mashed potatoes is like the icing on the cake! Well look no further for a mashed potato recipe! Here it is:

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Ingredients:
1 head garlic
1 teaspoon olive oil
4 medium russet potatoes, peeled
3-4 tablespoons butter
1/4-1/2 cup milk or heavy cream (or more)
1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt (or 3/4 teaspoon table salt)
1 teaspoon minced fresh chives

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut off the top 1/2-inch of the garlic off. Lay garlic on piece of tin foil, drizzle olive oil over garlic cloves and close tin foil. Roast for 45 minutes or until the garlic has softened completely and is very tender. Let cool and squeeze out the roasted garlic cloves. Coarsely chop.

2. In the meantime, place the potatoes in a large pot and cover with water by 1 inch. Cover and bring to boil and cook for 20-25 minutes over medium heat, until you can easily pierce the potato with a fork with very little resistance. Drain potatoes.

3. In the pot, add 4 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 cup of heavy cream, salt and roasted garlic and turn the heat to low. Use a potato masher to mash the potatoes into the pot. Stir the potatoes. Do not over mix or the mashed potatoes will turn gummy. Taste and season with additional salt or milk if needed. Stir in chives.

Enjoy!

Be Grateful For What You Have: Thanksgiving

Source: etsy.com via Renee’s on Pinterest

It’s my favorite time of year because it is the time of year that family and friends have time to gather around the table and be grateful for what you have. Now, there is some confusion about whether Muslims should celebrate Thanksgiving. I know that I offended some of you readers by explaining why I personally don’t celebrate Halloween, but in my house, we have always celebrated Thanksgiving. Why is that?

It is because there is no religious context to this national holiday. Since I am an American, I grew up with Thanksgiving. In fact, I celebrate Thanksgiving and see it as a valuable way for people to get together and share and learn about the beauty of our faith. For those of you who are still on the fence about Thanksgiving and Islam, here is Imam Suhaib Webb’s opinion along with the opinions of some different madhabs on the topic of Thanksgiving. If you are a revert to Islam, use this time to spend being a part of your family even if your faiths differ.

Also, it is always nice to count the blessings of having a warm hot meal when so many of our sisters and brothers are struggling in places like Syria and Gaza. At your table, please take a moment to pray for them. Here are my final thoughts, In the Quran, Allah (swt) says:

If you count Allah (swt)’s blessings, you cannot possibly encompass them. Allah (swt)┬áis Forgiver, Most Merciful. (16:18)

So let’s use Thursday as a chance to attempt to be grateful for the blessings we can’t even account for.

Hijabi Obsession: Vests

As a curvy hijabi, I feel it is important to cover the chest area. I typically do this with a combination of cardigans, my hijab, and jackets. But I am getting tired of the same old hijabi fashion tricks. Thankfully, there has been a flood of fashion offerings in the form of vests. Vests are a versatile way to update your wardrobe without having to do a major closet makeover. I am currently loving this new fur vest from Banana Republic’s Anna Karenina capsule collection. It is a nice clever way to keep warm and cover the chest area.

I would pair this vest either with a longer top (to cover your assets in the back!) or with a maxi dress or skirt.

What are your thoughts on vests? Do you love them or hate them? Do you think they are a good option for hijabis?

Beating My Sugar Addiction

20121119-122744.jpg

Salaam readers! I have been away from my blog a few days because I have to make a confession: I put myself in rehab over an addiction I have had since my teen years: a sugar addiction.

I hadn’t realized it, but I was walking around a bulk of my day on a sugar high. Literally, I would start my morning off with a sugar laced latte, frosted granola bar, and cap off my day with desserts and sugary treats throughout the day.

I noticed I would literally twitch if I did not get my fix.

Then, I read this article in Women’s Health Magazine about the harmful effects of sugar and it made me realize how harmful I was being to my body.

In Islam, Muslims are commanded by God to take care of their bodies:

“But waste not by excess for God loves not the wasters” (Quran 7:31).

“Eat of the good things we have provided for your sustenance, but commit no excess therein, lest my wrath should justly descend on you, and those on whom descends my wrath do perish indeed” (Quran 20:81).

I was not following these commandments if I was stuffing my face with sugar! I knew I had to do something.

So I made a pact with my Hubster to literally stop my addiction in its tracks by going cold turkey. No more Starbucks, no more Godiva, no more home made cookies, no more extra sugar in my life.

All halal (permissible in Islam) foods are permitted in moderation, but I knew I needed a detox which is why I personally cut out sugar. In the WH article, doctors explain that like any other addiction, you need more and more sugar in order to maintain the same pleasurable rush you get when you eat sugar. So in order to get back my sensitivity to sugar, I have cut it out completely except in fruits.

Eating fruits gives you fiber and essential nutrients. It is also pointed out in the Quran:

“And from the fruits of date palm and grapes you get wholesome drink and nutrition: Behold in this is a sign for those who are wise” (Quran 16:67).

So for now, when I crave any thing sweet, I am reaching for an apple instead of chocolate. It’s been hard, but alhamdulillah, I feel more energy. Another bonus is weight loss since I am eating less calories in general.

So if you are like me and you crave sweets, try a piece of fruit and your body will thank you.

Hijabi Style Inspiration: Animal Prints

Jumah mubarak my lovelies! I hope that this Friday finds you all in good health and spirits iA. On a side note, I am planning to write about what is going on in Gaza, but it is turning into a long research driven based post that will take some time. So please know, that current events are very much on my mind. In the meantime, I will share another one of my hijabi fashion tips with you.

Animal prints have always been one of those things that I used to hate. It used to conjure up images of older women covered from head to toe in clashing prints (or older women who wanted to appear alluring…think Blanche from Golden Girls). So in my mind, wearing an animal print was something I avoided at all costs because I didn’t want to age myself prematurely. However, with younger more beautiful celebrities toting the look (think Gwen Stefani), I have noticed the trend picking up with the younger hijabi fashionista set. So in an effort to try something new, I am wearing a cheetah print hijab today! As you can tell by the Pinterest image above, wearing an animal print can be very striking, so this is not for the faint of heart!

If animal prints still scare you, take baby steps. Try wearing it as an accessory first. For example, a purse with an animal print, bangle, headband, or even a belt are a nice way to mix things up. If you are feeling a little more bold, try a skirt or shirt in a nice print. For the truly courageous, an animal print hijab is the way to go! I went all out because I saw my girlfriend Bahry rocking this look and I LOVED it. I just had to try it. That is the great thing about having stylish friends. They inspire you to go out of your own comfort zone. So Bahry, this post is for you girlfriend!

How do you wear your animal prints? Let me know and I may feature you in a follow up blog post!